January 8, 2019

Not For Sale

Not For Sale

I was 26, excited about a career that I could pursue after a childhood of abuse and neglect. I had put myself through college and secured a management position taking portraits of children and families. I was ecstatic, living in the big city pursuing my dream of being an Artist. On my own, able to pay my bills, free from a childhood of abuse. Getting paid for work I loved.

Family never acknowledged my graduating from college. There was no parties, cards, gifts to mark the occasion. Told often, I thought I was so smart. College was pointless for someone like me. You'll end up working at a fast food place they would say; flipping burgers.

Not realizing how deeply the hate stalked my life, I would chalk up problems I had due to being from a poor family. A welfare kid that needed to learn how to have a decent life, job, friends, make her way in the world. After acquiring all these things; it was painful to reconcile why things so often went wrong. A dark cloud that I was continually under in spite of my best efforts to do well and excel. I would pour over my notes late at night. I was constantly learning, taking classes, seminars, talking to everyone I knew to understand what was wrong.

Jobs would end. I was told it was because there was something wrong with me. "Come home," my family and best friend cajoled—it will be for the best. You need to rest, forget those people who don't appreciate you. We can go to the beach, have fun, forget about working so much on a job. That's not really all that important. Working all those hours, missing your cousins baby shower was pretty mean; you need to make it up to her. She was a  mother at 16. What are you doing with your life?

So I came home. My cousin by this time was on her second child. Unhappy, angry and resentful. She now told me I had problems—too much partying, going out, not being serious about life. How could I not attend her recent baby shower. When I tried to explain my responsibilities at work, she lashed out at me. She told me that I thought I was so smart, so uppity; thinking I could live like I was. Someone who did not care about my family and friends.

I needed to be sorry for thinking I was so much better than everyone else I knew. Friends from school also had children and were doing what was expected of them; being mothers. I was not living in a way that was acceptable. I was acting like a "drunk slut" going out all the time, having no responsibilities, thinking of only myself; so self righteous. God would punish me for thinking I was better than everyone else; certainly those I loved. So much of this was being done behind my back. So many secrets and lies were being made up about me.

I needed to be taught a lesson. The lesson was a man that pretended to be my boyfriend; he would help me after I came home and my family put me on the street for being so uppity. A friend of my family, he understood that I had problems. I needed only to listen to him and he could make things right with everyone. Family came first after all.

The prison I was to walk in was for my own good. A way to atone for thinking I had a right to live my life; a right to be successful. Punishment for trying to escape the hell of how I was treated growing up. Revenge for believing I could be free. I could live away from the hate, abuse and lies I grew up with. That I was no good, meant for nothing, but to serve those that had power over me.

Him and his friends cornered me in a bar one night after a girlfriend I was to meet never showed up. I instinctively knew it was wrong, but I had no words for what he talked about. He knew my family, knew things about me. I felt flattered, silly, happy. Things seemed to be alright. This Man cared, really seem to know me. He wanted to help me. Everyone told me what a great guy he was. My family loved him. He was best friends with my cousin. It all seemed so right.

Deep down I knew I was not for sale, but it would take many years to know I was sold.

December 29, 2018

Locked Out

Locked Out

Feeling pretty sad today. Stayed up late, drank too much. Locked out of Twitter. I was drunk tweeting and I should not have been. I have been falling apart lately. It seems to just keep coming with what is going on here. I can't seem to get out from under this dark cloud. It's been this way for so long now.

I have been meaning to blog more. I guess between my phone being stolen and now locked out of Twitter it might force me to write more. I get ranting and sometimes it just tumbles out on Twitter before I can edit and then of course it's not what I wanted to say.

Staying up most nights, I can't sleep here. The noise is awful. All day and all night. Constant pounding, banging, people in and out. I stay up late and tweeting is my comfort; like talking to friends. I have been staying up so late, over tired and then rant little too much. Little too much drink and well end up saying things I regret.

It's nice to be here with you guys. Sometimes my anxiety gets to me and I want it all to be perfect. My grammar needs improving. I'm trying to learn, but it's slow. It's always what scared me about writing. I never thought I could because I was so scared of grammar, but now I just try to do my best and let it be. I love to write and just kind of do what I can.

So I often put it off thinking that if I made it better then I can write here, but then I end up not keeping a good schedule. Plus there has just been so many awful things happening to me lately that I get lonely and want to talk rather than write. I never use to be lonely. For most of my life it was okay not having so many people in my life. My ex-husband isolated me throughout our marriage. I would attempt to make friends, but it's a small town and its really hard. Everyone knows everyone. Twitter allows for that immediacy, instant feedback like a conversation. As you can see, a little too much. I have a few drinks and the words tumble out and I forget I'm not just talking to my journal.

I did emotional journal writing for years. I learned from Julia Cameron. Her book, "Artists Way" was so important to me for a long time. It kept me sane in an abusive marriage. I would just tumble all my emotions out on the page. It was so cathartic. My grammarly is not working, so I might have a few misspellings. My computer was smashed so its hard to work on it now. I can't access so many of the features, menus and windows. It's been so sad for me. I loved my Mac book pro, my iPhone, taking pictures was like breathing. It's a big part of the way I communicate. My iPhone was recently stolen. I don't have money for a new one. It's been so hard lately.

I loved the way you could just tumble out your emotions on the page. Just kind of free for all and not worry about analyzing it or editing it. You just write, stream of writing and not think too much about it. After awhile it becomes spiritual, like a friend. It makes it harder to do that on Twitter. I get myself in a little trouble now, especially enjoying too much wine along with the writing or a few too many beers. I don't really like beer all that much, but without my car it's hard to go any place besides the local stores close by. There is no wine store close so it ends up being beer.

Most days I just have to let things be now. So much has been destroyed. I'm not sure about anything anymore. I have no money really. My divorce left me with basically nothing. I worked so hard. I had a new car, a home I loved, savings, credit, etc. all gone now. It was a train wreck from start to finish, but one good thing to come of the wreckage was moving from emotional writing to something more serious.

Twitter initially was such a big help. I had no access to my notebooks at times because after being forced to move so often I wasn't sure where they were or if I could get new ones. I was also in shock and had so much anxiety that it was nice to have people around, even if some of them weren't real. It's kinda funny now, but in the beginning they all seemed real. Now I guess so many of them aren't. Many are bots or something. I'm not sure how that works really, but they are fake. Plus people lie about their identities online and all that goes along with that.

I have to say though it helped save my life. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it at times. I had a seizure and think I might have really almost fried my nervous system. The exhaustion was unreal. It was probably chronic fatigue. I still think I have something along those lines. I'm learning trauma can do that too. I survived today is about all I can say now. Some days it takes everything I have to make it through the day and survive. So I guess no more tweeting. It's time to transition to something else. It might be what that means for this New Year. I miss being here and blogging, so that might be it.

There has been so many endings lately, so much letting go, so much sorrow. But its time to look forward and to know that I have come so far this year. So many people are telling their stories of abuse or sexual assault. So many are speaking out, marching, protesting. So much is going on, it really is so validating to so many of us. Plus to be free of an abusive marriage is really wonderful in ways. Financially I'm destroyed, but not having that abuse all the time is so peaceful again. It reminds me of my 20s before I got married. Remembering who I was all those years ago. Abuse really does take so much from you. So the new year is about new beginnings, new projects, trying to move forward, but also realizing that surviving is wonderful too.

I hope you all are well and enjoying the holiday season, if its one for you. I hope to be here more. I hope to write more instead of chatting on Twitter. I need to write and be here more.

God Bless and be well.
Faith, Hope and Love.

Edit: little happier, later today found out my Twitter account was locked due to automated activity. I think because I was tweeting so much. lol...seems I'm chatty on Twitter, which is funny because I use to be very quiet person. It's the loneliness plus the holidays. I was tweeting well into the night. Just being kinda dumb, too many drinks. So hopefully they can confirm me by email. My iphone was stolen. I was just afraid about what I was rambling on about. I tend to get a little lushy when I drink ;) but it's all good. Mostly harmless. I have not had a date in 4yrs since I was separated. Kinda funny, but I tend to start just tweeting thinking I'm just writing in my journals free hand, then I forget. Oh well. I spent the day with you guys, which was nice. I still do love Twitter. Thanks for listening to me. Your reading me means so much to me. Take care. 

November 23, 2018

Old Ghosts

Old Ghosts

Their dogs bark incessantly. They deliberately make extreme noise. Pounding, banging continuously, at times it sounds like bombs going off.

All night long, all day long. I wait for the smoke to come or the fires to start, its so bad. I often wake in the middle of the night, which is the intention. I know its not that kind of war, but no less disturbing. Fallout from being in an abusive relationship for so long. Its a kind of silent war even though the noise is meant to be so loud, so hurtful, it becomes like brain damage. Forced from my home of 20 years and being forcibly put on the street has been just as brutal in ways. 9 moves in 2 years has been a kind of hell that is hard to describe.

We moved a lot when I was a kid. Each school year was difficult in many ways. I was always the new kid, subjected to all the bullying that often goes along with moving so many times in a small town. Plus the added vicious remarks about why my siblings had different last names, why we got free lunch, why my mother never went to school like the other mothers did, why she had so many boyfriends. Questions I often had to answer for. Adult dialog that often became my burden. She refused to explain much to me, but Teachers wanted answers nonetheless. I learned to live in 2 worlds at a very young age.

It all violently surfaced once again as I confronted the current moves. Waking up drench in sweat, the nightmares; harsher now then when I was a kid. Old memories reignited by what is being done to me now. Midlife and being forced to move around the same small town once again. The name calling, the humiliation, the shame done by the same people once again. In some cases now their grown children. The hate continues generation after generation.

Confronting old ghosts takes time. Demons don't go willingly. I often heard how just telling them to leave or saying a prayer would work, but I found it was not always that simple. If there is work to be done, negative patterns to be removed or relationships that to be severed, it can take a lot longer. Relinquishing things, people, emotions we are attached to is never all that easy and takes time.

Abusive relationships can be like that. Evil can be so deceptive. It is often wrapped in packages of light and goodness. Hiding in ways we never initially expect, but only after pulled into darkness and often being lost do we come to understand the lesson and the gift.

The dogs have quieted. I know the barks are ones of fear. An untrained dog is afraid. I continue to write. There was a time the abuse had taken so much life from me I was nervous all the time. Stronger now I can write through the darkness in ways that were much harder before.

The old memories once again assume their rightful place in the past and I am free once more to move on. Each day grateful to be released from the painful abusive relationships.

Now dealing with the fallout. What remains after you leave is often people are even more angry you have healed, can move on without them. It can often be just as dark for awhile as when you were involved with them. The retaliation, revenge and hate continues in some ways. In some cases always will. The world is full of hate, but you become stronger. You have survived. You become lighter, happier, willing to continue your journey.

A day of fasting and gratitude. A day of Thanksgiving. A day of prayer. A day of hope.

July 30, 2018

Everything Turned Upside Down

Everything Turned Upside Down

Up is down and down is up. I had read that some time ago on one of those Alternative websites. Only now as I look at what is going on in my life does it seem real. Usually I wait until I experience something then go looking. Sometimes I research, but not too far. Prescribing to the philosophy that it is wiser to have some experience with something before making up your mind. It's mostly why I prescribe now to a more Mystical Path.

I try not to write about what I haven't experienced in some way. There is no sense for me in seeking dark places just for curiosity or fun, but because I'm called to go there. It is far better for me to remain in the light rather than seek the darkness. Even though, I do often find myself being thrust into the shadow places. It usually happens that what I end up with has to be integrated with the light to form a wholeness. It all works out for the greater good. Where I am at that time on my path.

This time everyting has been torn apart completely. All things pushing, pulling being destroyed in oppostite directions—until no place to go. So much less "doing' now. Being—only in faith. Trusting in the path—the journey.

The death and destruction of who I was—so much that had to be cleared. It has been devastating. As I surrender to it, I know in my heart so much of my old life had to go. It was extremely frightening at first to see how much had to go. Some days it still is, but my strength is slowly coming back. My faith once again renewed—my hope restored. It takes time, especially because so much was destroyed this time. There has been so much loss.

Things have a way of seeming to be one way, but often turn into something else. Up is down and down is up. What can seem so horrible can be a blessing. When first in your life the tendency is to resist, to feel oppressed, rejected—alone without hope and faith. That is the awful, horrible place. It can be really, really bad. Each time I go through the process I think I'm done. I won't have to do more. I have had enough obstacles, setbacks, rotten things happen to me, but I have just about always looked back and been grateful. This time no different, but it had been really horrible this time.

"Go to a homeless shelter," she said. In shock I could not breath or speak. After working 20 years on my home and also a Summer place and other properties from having taken care of inlaws. I was told I would be homeless. This woman who was suppose to be my lawyer and defend me was telling me I had nothing. So frightened—I thought I would die.

"Why me," why now, why is this happening—I pleaded and prayed at night to God. "How is this possible?" To have no home after doing everything I could to have a home. It being one of the most important things in my life since I was a little girl. The first Judge I went before basically said nothing. "You married him," he said. He being my exhusband. My marriage ending and with it everyting I thought I had—my home one of them. Subsequent Judges were no more sympathetic.

"Go walk the streets," they said after taking my car. This is when things started to get surreal. Having had some experience with this sort of thing before. I knew something bigger was going on. I was not doing this—something or someone else was. Yes, I had some responsiblity—I did get married, but this just does not happen to someone. It was so over the top. Everyting in my life being violently ripped away. "Your a prostitute," they said. My god what was going on?

I remember that beautiful night, 6 years ago when I believed that everyting would finally be okay. It was the final get-together for the Summer. The "Ring of Fire" on the Lake. Mostly when the "Snowbirds" leave and us locals know things will get much quieter. The last party, holiday, summer fun, romance before the cold sets in. Many off to Florida, NY where it is warmer. I had no idea the nightmare that was to begin.

I had worked so hard. Finally being able to downshift to an easier schedule. Years of having tenants was now finally paying off and I could enjoy extra income from the rental business I started with my exhusband and promises from inlaws I took care of. Live in a single-family home and look forward to being semi-retired—finally having an actual "Studio." Something I had dreamed about since I was a little girl, when I learned I could no longer take ballet. My third grade teacher telling me I was good at Drawing and Art, to which I promptly started to channel my hurt and energies there. Holding full-time "day jobs" and working at night to make my dream come true of earning a living being a real "Artist." Building a successful career so I could finally have enough to do the work I really loved full-time on my own schedule.

So here I was being told "nothing was mine" and to go live in a homeless shelter. It was devastating to say the least, but that wasn't just any last night of Summer. I had been on the Sacandaga Lake, NY for over 20 years. Owning a place there shortly after getting married. As a little girl my Dad use to bring me to the camping grounds close by. There were officially 20 "Rings of Fire," but this one proved to shatter everyting in my life I thought I had. So much of who I thought I was. So much of what I loved. I was never to be the same again.

I'm still unraveling the Mystical experience of it all. I have been homeless a few times now. I have slept in my car. I have had to break into the Lakehouse I thought I would retire from just to have a place to stay—removed by the StatePolice and told it was no longer mine. I have been so frightened I thought I would die. My cherished beliefs about home completely turned upside down—way more "Down" than up.

The thing is here I am with you and I am writing about being homeless. I am sharing my experiences and making new friends—becoming stronger again! In touch with a self I use to know. I had left her when I married and here she was—pissed I left her. Well, more sad than angry, but she was somewhat wild and had to be dealt with because it had been so long since I had seen her or let her play—let her go anywhere. A part of myself denied, denigrated—no place for her in my life of being a "good wife." Accepted by me at first, but then forced into the role. At the end of my marriage—violently.

You ready to pack a suitcase and leave. I can remember a time when I was first married and had a panic attack about how much "stuff" I was accumulating. I had always loved being able to just go. I had already done some traveling and looked forward to more. When I married, having a "Summer place" became a place my exhusband said would replace "going places." It became my prison. The isolation almost killing me. The freedom now at first so overwhelming, so distant, I thought I would die. In many ways parts of myself have—the false ones. Needing to remember how to "Fly" again.

My wings beat and in places broken, but they are healing. The words spill across this page and I'm less afraid of not having a "home." Home once again being inside—I had forgotten. I'm remembering to dream again. It took everything to be turned upside down. I can tell you it's still not okay, but it's getting better. Coming home once again to the self I left behind. Knowing that last night on the lake before everyting fell apart was a place that in fact everyting is being put back together.

I still don't have a home. I'm not sure where I'm going. This blog is not one where I tell you how great things are and what a wonderful life I have. But, I'm writing and for that I'm grateful. It is not something I would have done before all this happened. Some things turn upside down, but actually they are right side up. It becomes one of perspective and attitude. You often have to wait and be patient before the magic happens. You stay the course and it does, but not without pain. The pain is still very real, very raw. Each day a little more gets done. The discipline of moving forward takes shape once again. The words spill across the page and one more day unfolds and I have a little more faith—a little more hope that things are getting better. Slowly, some days excruciatingly so, but simpler, gentler, moving to a better place even if that place does not have a physical space yet.